Category Archives: Food

Nutrition tips and recipes to help you achieve your weight and fitness goals :)

#Bglsr recipe: Almond* butter

almond butter by chhavi sachdev
You know peanut butter, but have you ever looked at the ingredients and nutritional values? It’s choking you with its high sodium, sugar and fat content. Here’s an alternative – and it’s SO easy, you’ll stop buying both almond and peanut butter off the shelf.
You do need access to an oven or a microwave. I prefer the oven. To me the nuts feel crisper and the smell of them roasting is so worth it 🙂
You also need a mixer-grinder. I’ve found the smallest jar is the best suited for quick results.


  • 2 cups almonds (*or any nuts, really)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (I use Under the Mango Tree organic honey) OR maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil optional

Step 1:

  1. preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. spread 2 cups of nuts on a baking tray, make sure they’re cheek by jowl but not overlapping.
  3. step away for 10 minutes. Check every 5 minutes thereafter.
  4. You know they’re done when you can cut one easily and the inside is golden instead of white.

Note: if you like crunchy nut butters over creamy, roughly chop up some of the almonds at this stage and reserve.

almond butter by chhavi sachdev

Step 2:

  1. Dump into mixer jar. (I did this in two batches).
  2. Pulse on medium for 1 minutes.
  3. Open, scrape down the fine dust it has become and run it again for 1 minute.
  4. Repeat a couple of times. Add the honey in one of the scrape down pauses between running the mixer.
  5. Add the optional oil if you want it creamier and run again. (I didn’t.)
  6. The nuts’ natural oils will start coming out pretty quick. It took 4 minutes for each batch to become more or less creamy.For crunchy almond butter, mix in the reserve chopped nuts at the end.
  7. Put in an air tight bottle (I reuse clean Nutella bottles) and store in the fridge up to 2 months.

You’re done. Amazing, huh? Spread on whole grain bread, eat with an apple, carry as a snack, bake into cookies, eat straight from the bottle…

The ‘butter’ is low GI, totally natural, no sugar, no sodium and no hydrogenated fats! Almonds are high in magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin D, B, E, protein, and the list goes on …

#Bglsr Meals: High Protein and High Fibre Vegetarian Burgers

Burgers made using a mix of vegetables and soya granules.

Recipe by Nandita Iyer from Saffrontrail: Nutrition doctor, columnist, food blogger, wannabe singer and mom. 

High Protein and High Fibre Vegetarian Burgers © Nandita Iyer, 2011.
Recipe Type: Vegetarian, main, appetiser
Author: Saffrontrail
Serves: 6-8 burger patties
Burgers made using a mix of vegetables and soya granules.
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • cup shelled peas
  • 1 cup soya granules (Nutrela)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • inch piece of ginger
  • 3 green chillies
  • Handful of chopped coriander
  • freshly crushed black pepper (as per taste)
  • 1-1/1.5 tsp salt
  • cup fried gram dal (dalia)
  • 2-3 tsp salt to cook patties
  • Other appliances
  • pressure cooker
  • Mixer
  • Non stick pan
  1. In a pressure cooker, with separators, cook pototoes, carrot and peas in different compartments for 3 whistles and 6-7 minutes on sim.
  2. Meanwhile, in a vessel, place 2 cups of water to boil with a fat pinch of salt. Once this comes to a boil, put in the soya granules and turn off the flame. Keep covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Keep a large bowl / thaali handy. Once the cooker has cooled, remove the vegetables. Strain the peas and add to bowl. Rub off the skin of the carrot. Mash with a fork and add to bowl. Peel off the potato skins, mash with a fork or with your fingers and add to the bowl.
  4. In the strainer, place the softened soya granules. Press with the back of a cup (katori) to drain out all the excess water. In a mixer, add this well drained soya granules, chillies, ginger, garlic and grind till it is a coarse dry paste. Add this to the veggie mix with the salt, pepper and fresh coriander.
  5. In the chutney jar of the mixer, grind the fried gram dal to a fine powder. Add this to the patty-mixture and with your hands knead to mix all ingredients and seasonings well.
  6. Cover with cling wrap and keep in fridge for minimum 15 minutes.
  7. Shape into patties ½ inch thick and of 3” diameter. Place patties on a reasonably hot and lightly greased non stick tava. Cook on medium flame till crisp on one side (around 5-7 minutes) and then flip with a sharp edged spatula, cooking on the other side till crisp. You can use as little oil as possible so that the patties will turn golden brown on a low heat.

Serve with whole wheat buns and lots of salad in the middle – such as lettuce, cucumber and tomato slices. Use half a bun and have it as open face burger to reduce carbs / calories further. Serve with mint chutney or hung yogurt dip.

#Bglsr Snacks: Baked Spinach Balls

A high protien, low fat delight which has your greens too. Relish as an evening snack, a kickstart to the day as breakfast, or as a guilt-free pleasure with your drink.

#Bglsr Snacks: Baked Spinach Balls
Recipe Type: Appetiser, Snack
Author: Monika Manchanda
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 cup of finely chopped Spinach
  • 1/4 cup of soya flakes
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp. of black pepper
  • 1/2 red chilli flakes
  • Salt as desired
  • 1 tsp of oil
  1. Dry roast the soya flakes, grind to a coarse powder after it cools and keep separate.
  2. Combine all the ingredients together and roll into small balls.
  3. Grease the baking tray and place them on it. Optionally, you can also use some cooking spray on top.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for about 20 mins or so.
  5. Relish with sauce of choice.

#Bglsr Breakfasts: Carrot Spice Muffins

A moist, light and delicious muffin full of freshly grated carrots, loaded with fiber and flavored with warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Baked with a combination of whole wheat and rice flour, cranberries, walnuts and topped with toasted coconut. These muffins are great for breakfast on the go or as a late-morning snack.

#Bglsr Breakfast: Carrot Spice Muffins
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Muffins, Breakfast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/3 cup honey or 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup oil or 1/3 cup melted butter or 1/3 cup applesauce (I used rice bran oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I used cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients- flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice.
  3. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients- honey/brown sugar, egg, buttermilk/yogurt, oil, vanilla and the carrots, raisins and nuts.
  4. Gently wet and dry ingredients together until just moistened.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean
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For more delicious and healthy recipes visit Baker Street

#Bglsr Desserts: Blueberry Tea Cake

A low cal cake which is soft, moist cake batter with swirls of sweet and tart blueberries.

Recipe: Blueberry Tea Cake
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 cup White Flour
  • 11/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 1 Egg White, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Milk 1% (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  • Juice of Half a Lime
  • 2/3 cup Blueberries or Blueberry preserves (I used preserves as fresh were not available)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 6 cup bundt or a square baking pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat oil and sugar until light and creamy and combined.
  5. Add the egg and egg white to the butter mixture. Mix till well combined.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and lime juice.
  7. Alternately adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture in thirds, starting with the dry and ending with the dry. Mix gently and do not over mix the batter.
  8. Pour half the batter into the baking dish.
  9. Top with blueberries or preserves. Cover with the remaining batter and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Serving size: 1 Calories: 129.4 Saturated fat: 06 Unsaturated fat: 2.6 Sugar: 14.2g Fiber: 0.9g Protein: 2.2g

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, combine the milk and vinegar, this will take about 5 minutes to curdle. Set aside.
– If you’re using fresh blueberries, you can increase the amount by almost a cup

Use the same recipe to bake blueberry lemon crumb squares:

zest of 1 lemon in place of the lime juice and
Use 11/2 cup of fresh blueberries

For the crumb topping:
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Flour
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon Canola Oil
Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, and oil into a bowl. Mix until all ingredients are combined, this will form a crumbly mixture.
Add the streusel on top and bake till a toothpick comes out clean

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#Bglsr Breakfasts: Homemade Granola

A healthy evening snack. It’s delicious; packed with flavors and nutrients. The recipe can be easily adapted and you can add in nuts and fruits of your choice.  The recipe requires for 2 cups of dried fruits. This is where you can really use your imagination and play with flavors you like. I used a combination of dried berries, tropical fruits and dates.


Recipe: Homemade Granola
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (I used hazelnut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dried fruit (See Notes)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for coconut and dried fruits
  3. Spread on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  4. As soon as its out of the oven put it back in a bowl and add the coconut, mix well.
  5. Mix every 10 minutes; the granola is done when it is no longer moist and is a golden color.
  6. Once its completely cool, add dried fruits and store in airtight container.
Calories: 86.7 Saturated fat: 1.0g Unsaturated fat: 1.6g Sugar: 8.8g Fiber: 1.2g Protein: 0.9g

– For 2 cups of dried fruits i used: dates, blueberries, cranberries, mango, papaya and pineapples.
– Serve with yogurt and top with fresh fruit.
– The nutrion value has been calculated keeping in mind that recipe yields around 40 servings, thats about 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup per serving

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Recipes for weight loss: Ginger-Sesame Green Bean Stir-fry

photo by wikimedia
By far the easiest, quickest dish ever! This zesty, crunchy dish will be a hit with any rice or vaguely oriental gravy. If you listened to episode 11 of the Big Loser Podcast, you’ll know that unsaturated fats are not bad for you. Sesame oil is a polyunsaturated fat, very rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, & is great for your heart. I found it at my neighborhood store, easily. You can substitute any vegetable oil without a problem, in which case I encourage you to use the sesame seeds. Green beans are rich in carotenoids and Vitamins A & C — stir-frying preserves most of their nutrition and flavor. 🙂 See, it’s pretty, tasty, and amazing for you!

Note: in a pinch, you can substitute garlic and ginger paste but … nothing beats fresh.  & if you don’t want a strong sesame flavor, then use the sesame oil and leave out the seeds. Continue reading Recipes for weight loss: Ginger-Sesame Green Bean Stir-fry

Recipes for weight loss: szechuan eggplant

photo by Brian WallaceFirst off, this one’s EASY. I swear. And fast! Just cut your veggies first and make sure you’ve got all the ingredients. I’ve made this twice before and everyone’s enjoyed it. Most ingredients are optional or substitutable but I LOVE eggplant (brinjal) and bell peppers AND tofu so that’s what I go with. You can find all the ingredients in a semi-upscale grocery store (not just brand name ones) 😉 And you can throw in a meat (chicken? prawns?) instead of tofu.
This recipe is my adaptation from a fantastic book called Something for Everyone by Carol Gelles.
Serve with brown rice. Do not serve with whole wheat spaghetti (really!). You can also present a ginger-sesame green-bean stir fry (recipe coming soon). And you can also always serve the hummus-oor before 😉

Continue reading Recipes for weight loss: szechuan eggplant

Week 11: Balanced diet pt 3: Fats

On this week’s #BigLoser podcast, we discussed good fats and bad fats. It’s a little too much to digest, literally, and Week #11’s 50 tips for #BigLoser must’ve been heavy on the learning requirement. So let’s begin with the basics. Where do our ideas about good and bad fats come from?

Now thanks to the advertising guys, everyone thinks that anything that is low-fat is a good thing and anything with fats in them should be avoided. Like most advice to do with healthy living, this is just the half truth. Similar to when we spoke about carbs in your diet two weeks ago, there is also such a thing as good and bad fats, and we’re going to look at each one a little more closely now.

First the bad stuff: There are two kinds of bad fats: Saturated fats and trans fats. Now, saturated fats will harm you only if they are consistently more than 10% of your daily diet. And when we say harm you, we’re not being subtle – they clog arteries, heart the risk of heart diseases and raise the body’s levels of bad cholesterol. Coconut oil, palm oil and non-slim dairy are the most common sources of saturated fats in your diet.
Continue reading Week 11: Balanced diet pt 3: Fats

Recipes for Weight Loss: Kerala Chicken Curry with Okra

20 minute low fat meal ideas are the reason why most of us can manage our weight without losing our marbles over elaborate diet food preparations. Kerala chicken with okra and microwaved brown rice is one such low fat meal idea. And an even greater advantage (for first-time cooks) is that the chicken, okra and brown rice recipes leave no room for guess work. You won’t have to stand by the counter and scratch your head over instructions like ‘to taste’ or ‘till done’ or ‘consult the oracle if in doubt.’ You will simply follow instructions, and eat a healthy, nutritious, low fat meal at the end of it all.
Continue reading Recipes for Weight Loss: Kerala Chicken Curry with Okra